tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 14, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
>> down on his knees. what a shot. >> that was really cool. we're going to show you even more in a couple minutes and you'll get the backstory on this as well. in the meantime, the next hour of the cnn "newsroom" starts right now. i'm don lemon. want to get you up to speed. it's the top of the hour on cnn. america has lost one of the giants of the u.s. senate. long-time pennsylvania senator, arlen specter, died today after a long battle with cancer. specter was elected to the senate in 1980 and represented pennsylvania for 30 years, longer than anyone in the state's history. he was 82 years old. his former communications director joins me live in just ten minutes here on cnn. the next presidential debate is tuesday, and president obama's advisers aren't shying away from what he needs to do. >> he's got to be more energetic. >> the stage work is well under way at hofstra university.
we will square off in a town hall style format. the deadly mennen ji ties outbreak continues to spread. the centers for disease control confirms ten cases of the rare fungal meningitis in the last 24 hours. tennessee particularly hit hard with about 25% of the cases. the victims received tainted steroid injections commonly given to relieve intense neck and back pain. a wounded teenage activist who stood up to the taliban inspired a huge rally in pakistan today. tens of thousands of outraged people gathered to support the 14-year-old who had blogged about the right of girls to get an education. taliban members tried to assassinate her on tuesday. she's in critical but stable condition. okay. if you have a fear of heights, you should grab hold of
something right now because a dedicated daredevil finally achieved an amazing feat today. he zoomed faster than the sound of speed, not in an airplane, but before that, oh, it was even higher than that. i want to show you now what cnn's brian todd has to report. >> jumper away. >> reporter: with a heart pounding hop into the stratosphere, felix baumgartner makes history. he jumps from 128,000 feet above the earth, 24 miles up, higher than anyone before him. during free fall he spun for a few harrowing moments but stabilized quickly. in those first seconds he broke another record. no one had ever down through the sound barrier outside a vehicle. he reached a top speed of more than 700 miles an hour, well past the speed of sound. free fall lasted 4 minutes 19 seconds before his pair suit opened. that's short of the record for the longest free fall in history but after he safely touched down, the man known as fearless
felix was hailed as airrow spac pioneer. in his ear, colonel joe kitten injury, the man whose record baum nagartner broked. i interviewed them together earlier this year. are you jealous of felix that he's going to break your record? >> no, i'm delighted. i'm delighted he's going to do it. he's advancing science. and he'll do a great job. >> reporter: mission leaders and space officials hope this jump will show them if astronauts, space tourists, or high altitude pilots can survive for any extended period outside a vehicle if there's a malfunction. if it held up as expected, baumgartner's high pressure suit could be the next generation suit for future missions. what will felix baumgartner do next? he told me after this jump he wants to pursue an occupation as a helicopter rescue pilot. might be a bit of a letdown. brian todd, cnn, washington.
>> brian, thank you. great reporting there. the space shuttle "endeavour" once soared 123 million miles through space and today crowds cheered as the shuttle inched into its new retirement home. the "endeavour" finally arriving at the california science center after crawling 12 miles across los angeles over three days. it took about 15 hours longer than expected. l's mayor says its a historic accomplishment. >> the "endeavour" has reached its final destination, the california science center. nothing like this has ever been attempted before and nothing like this will ever be attempted again. this is a once in a lifetime event. >> well, crowds cheered for the shuttle every step of the way as the 85 ton shuttle maneuvered through los angeles. spectacular sight. politics now and president barack obama, mitt romney, out of side toot getting ready for
tuesday's second of three presidential debates. cnn's political director mark preston is at new york's hofstra university ahead of all the crowds and everybody. you know, you were the first to have this story, mark. it's the site of tuesday night's showdown moderated, of course, by our very own candy crowley. you're like, right, lemon. shut up. no surprise though that tuesday's debate was number one topic on the sunday shows this morning. everybody is talking about it. the president, he's got to, you know, some game changing to do. >> reporter: he does. he has some game changing to do, don. he had a very lackluster debate two weeks ago. here on tuesday night his advisers are at least telling us he's going to come with a different game plan. let's listen to what robert gibbs had to say on "state of the union" giving us a preview of what to expect. >> he knew when he walked off that stage and he also knew as he watched the tape of that debate that he's got to be more energetic. i think you'll see somebody who is very passionate about the
choice that our country faces and putting that choice in front of voters. >> reporter: and on the same show this morning on "state of the union" ed gillespie, a seen or adviser for mitt romney, says it comes down to a choice for which way the country -- what direction it's going to go into. let's hear what ed gillespie has to say. >> the president can change his style, change his tactics, he can't range hchange his record policies. >> reporter: we just have a few weeks until election day. the race is tight in the key battleground states. mitt romney has made up quite a bit of ground. a lot of people are waiting to see what happens on the stage right behind me tuesday night. >> the first debate, the presidential debate, they were standing at podiums. the one last week they were sitting close to the moderator. this is a town hall format. how is that going to work? >> reporter: well, you know, it's really interesting because the questions for these 90
minutes, no commercials, are all going to come -- i shouldn't say all directly from the voters, but we'll hear a lot of questions from undecided voters, they live in this area of new york. they were picked by the gallup -- by the commission on presidential debates, don. mitt romney is going to get the first question. that was decided by a coin flip. there will be no closing statements. our own candy crowley will be moderating that debate. she will have her own questions but we'll see more interaction now. it won't just be the candidates talking to candy crowley. it will be the candidates talking directly to the voters themselves. something we haven't seen in the general election debates. we have seen that happen in the republican presidential primary debates, don, but now with these closing weeks it will be interesting to see how both candidates are able to sell their message not only to the voters in the hall but the tens of millions of people who will be watching tuesday night. >> oh, yeah. you're right. tens of millions. every single one they've had a lot of people have watched. thank you, mark preston. the presidential contenders square off again on tuesday night. our special coverage, live
coverage, begins at 7:00 eastern. the debate will be moderated by our very own candy crowley. arlen specter was a senator who often marched to his own drummer. marching him right over party lines sometimes. one of the men who knew him best speaks to us about the late senator, and that's next. [ malr favorite foods fight you, fight back fast with tums smoothies. so fast and smooth, you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums [ male announcer ] tums smoothies.
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and his wife, joan, but really the senate has lost a true statesman, one of the last statesmen that was in the senate. there are others. it's very hard to come by somebody of his independence and his ability to work across party lines, and so if you think about a career that he had, which was five-term career, and the way that basically the senate went from being really a debating place to now where it's tough for things to get done, he almost -- i think even if he had won re-election he would have found the last couple years a little frustrating but that's to his credit. >> you know, he was known for his hard work, even amidst som debilitating illnesses. why did he work so hard even when he was sick? >> he was one of the hardest workers. i remember as staff we used to get -- we had a famous story which happened right when i was with him in that one of hus got a note in the middle of the night that he had made a correction on one of the papers that went into him and he circled something and he had his
initials and he said 4:18 a.m. he was up at 4:00 a.m. while the rest of us were asleep working on -- he was really known for constituent service among one of his greatest strengths, but he was also known as somebody who was really at the head of virtually every big issue, whether it's on the foreign policy side where he was chairman of the intelligence committee or chairman of the judiciary committee later on in his career. so he's somebody really who not only mastered the constituent service aspect and famously visited 67 counties in pennsylvania every single year, but there's no senator who worked harder than arlen specter and all of his colagues on both sides of the aisle really respected him for that. >> you talked a lot about his work, which, you know, it's part -- that's part of who he is personally, but you spent so much time with him. do you have a story that can help illustrate to us, to people who didn't know him as well, the kind of man he was, who he was as a man?
>> well, he's somebody who was incredibly principled and one of the smartest people out there terms of knowing constitutional law. a couple anecdotes real quick. he never in the entire time i have -- both while i was working with him and before and after, that i have never heard of him reading a speech on the senate floor. he always spoke from just a few notes extemporaneously. he did the same thing even when he was chairing and normally chairmen will have a big opening statement. he would do that really -- it was off the cuff but it was with a lot of preparation and he did not want to be known as somebody who was scripted. so he's somebody who was very proud of the fact he worked on his own statements. the other anecdote i will give you is a lot of people don't know he was actually behind closed doors as well as in public one of the funniest people you would ever come across. he was somebody who went down to the improv bar, which is a comedy bar here pretty regularly in d.c. and would just show up on a friday night after the
senate was in session and he'd hold forth there and was just a really good cut upomedian of his own. >> i was just talking to folks in the studio here, look at arlen specter's face. his face -- he had so much character in his face. i could see him being a comedian and even an actor. great politician, but, you know, look at that, the smile on his face. >> absolutely. >> thank you john elliott, former communications director. again our condolences, and please pass that along to the family if they're not watching. >> will do. john mentioned this, coming up next hour, senator arlen specter known for being a fighter but he had a softer side in the form of standup comedy. in 40 minutes a different side of a long-time senator. you're going to hear his standup comedy. some republican-led legislatures have enacted tough new voting law that is they say will prevent voter fraud. democrats say their real intent is to suppress the vote of their supporters, including minorities. la von bracey has been
registering voters for four decades. she's known discrimination firsthand and we want to warn you, she uses some very graphic language in remembering what she went through, her story is part of cnn's joe johns' documentary, voters in america, who counts. >> reporter: how often do you do this a day? >> i try to get out once a day. are you a registered voter? >> i'm not a registered voter. >> you're not. >> reporter: la von's relentless pursuit of potential voters is about to take her to gainesville, florida. it is the place where bracey's sense of her own destiny and purpose was forged in the battle for her civil rights. >> these benches were not here, and it's a bit different now than it was when i was here in 1964. >> these were days when there was stark segregation, jim crow. >> i said to myself, something
got to be done. >> we needed to integrate the public school system. >> i'm reading from.united states district court. the official papers that brought about integration of the school system in florida. >> my dad probably knocked on 500 doors of parents trying to persuade them to allow their kids to go to the all-white school. >> and their parents says, too dangerous. some said to me, you got two children in the school system. use one of your own children. >> i decided to go to the all-white school. >> the fbi came to the house. this is the most dangerous thing
that you can do. are you exactly sure that you want to do this? i said yes. >> when i first came in the class, i sat in that seat. everybody in the entire class got up, went to the other side of the room, and the teacher asked why are you standing, and one of the students says, i would rather stand than to sit by a -- >> a special report, voters in america who counts. the national hockey league locks out its players. it's not just the athletes who are hurting. it's the people who count on the games being played to put food on their table. these fellas used capital one venture miles
the face-off between the national hockey league and its players has so far cost fans the season opener. games were supposed to start on thursday. but now a source says talks are set to resume on tuesday. a shot at ending the stalemate is welcome news to many businesses who are now taking hits to their bottom lines. here is cnn's candy crowley.
>> reporter: newark's prudential center it home to the new jersey devils hockey team, a team that made it to the stanley cup finals last year. but the arena is awfully quiet these days. the nhl has locked out players preventing the puck from dropping in the preseason and two weeks of the regular season so far. >> it's definitely gut wrenching. >> reporter: tom bloom runs edison ale house, a bar and restaurant right across the street from the prudential center. >> every day to look out these big picture windows and see it dark, you know, it can get discouraging. >> reporter: bloom says business could drop 35% this month and up to 45% if the lockout continues. he hopes to hold onto workers as their tips are slashed and the bar's profits are on ice. >> if the devils were playing on a tuesday night as opposed to a nonevent night, you're talking about probably a 75% swing in revenue. >> reporter: in newark, the hockey lockout is a double whammy. they already lost their nba
team, the former new jersey, now brooklyn, nets. the city is hoping this hotel that opened last month will help revitalize the area. but an empty arena could make turning a profit devil lishy difficult. >> it doesn't feel good, that's an understatement. i'm sure it's depressing, but i think the spirit of the city is trying to press on. >> reporter: newark is one of 30 nhl markets in the u.s. and canada. the lockout was imposed after a collective bargaining agreement expired. the issue, as always, is money. how do divide the profits. businesses hope a solution come quickly. >> hopefully it's going to have a resolution. hopefully sooner than later. >> reporter: new jersey senators are urging both sides to come to an agreement and fast. they note the stoppage could mean millions in lost revenue at a time when the state's unemployment rate is at a 309-year high. susan candiotti, cnn, new york.
>> thank you susan candiotti. an apology decades after the damage is done. students were told they had failed in college simply because they were jewish. ♪ hi dad. many years from now, when the subaru is theirs... hey. you missed a spot. ...i'll look back on this day and laugh. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. bp has paid overthe people of bp twenty-threeitment to the gulf. billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else.
we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. i'm an expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there. oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty.
letter saying he'd flunked out of dental school. perry brickman had always been a good student. he knew he didn't actually fail the classes. the school he'd worked so hard to attend, emory university near atlanta, forced him out because he was jewish. it took 60 years to get an apology for the anti-semitism. brickman helped krement a documentary on the outrageous discrimination. here is part of it. >> we got that dreaded letter, and more likely than not our parents would say, what have you done to me? when you began to try to explain what happened, nobody believed you. they just didn't believe. oh, that's impossible. emory? >> my goodness. well, dr. brickman joins us now. discrimination didn't stop him. he graduated with honors from the university of tennessee dental school and had a very successful career.
thank you very much. you want back and interviewed fellow students decades after the discrimination. what motivated you to do that. >> i had retired two years before. the year was 2006, and we attended a conference at emory university where they were celebrating 30 years since the first chair had happened at emory and it was a great moment. since that moment they had many more jewish faculty members. >> when i introduced you, you said you knew when you got the letter you knew you hadn't failed, but you said you weren't so sure? >> not just me. this is the same story everybody tells. you didn't know. you got a letter when you got home and it says either you could come back and repeat or you were out. in my case they told me i couldn't return and there were four jewish boys in my class, and in two years all of us were gone. >> did you suspect something or
you just thought you didn't make the grade? >> no, i didn't. i thought i was doing okay, and no one had ever called me into an office. the dean didn't call me in, none of the instructors took me to the side. i have carved all my teeth. you should have seen some of the things -- they'd break your teeth and throw them out the window and things like that. i really didn't have a rough time. it was a shock, but when i got home, the worst thing was having to tell my parents. >> tell your parents. emory apologized to you and other jewish students it kris dim -- discriminated ago. >> i am sorry. we are sorry. >> how do you feel about it? >> i feel great. emory has been incredible. they really have. i spent a long time, maybe four years, getting all my documentation. i am an apple person, so i learned how to make movies i-movies. i came up with the movie and i
took it to emory and they were shocked. they really were and they said this is not emory, and i said, i know, but it was. they said we have to do something about this. >> do you have advice for anyone who feels discriminated against? as i was telling you in the commercial break, there was a guest who was on earlier, and he had kids with him, and i said, you know, my parents will tell me, don, that's just the way it was. i'll go, i don't understand mom and dad. i wonder what things we will be saying to younger people about, well, that was just the way it was. and they'll go what? what were you guys thinking? >> things are different now. they're very different. students speak up. we couldn't speak up. there was no way. my father tried to get the dean to, you know, revisit this. he wouldn't even see them. others were treated very bad. you know, it was a one-sided thing. you didn't have any option to do that. nowadays kids have advisers, and they don't take anything. >> yeah.
but you said they have been great and you feel welcome on the campus now. >> i have been there for many years. i live near emory. i would never let them define me, even then. i just got up and my dad took me over to tennessee. i had been accepted there to dental school, and i just happened to choose emory because i had gone there undergraduate and they treated me great at emory before. so i went over there, the dean put his hand on my shoulder. he said, boy, you're going to do all right because he had my grades from before i had been accepted and i showed him my carvings and i did, i did great. >> it happens but then you move on and you don't let it define you. >> that's the secret. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. thank you. >> really appreciate it. the stage is set in hempstead, new york for the second presidential debate. a town hall just two days away and the people get to ask some of the questions of their own this time around. we'll have a preview. top and the coordinator's phone
are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. [ slap! slap! slap! ] [ music, laughter stop ] [ male announcer ] when your favorite foods fight you, fight back fast with tums smoothies. so fast and smooth, you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums [ male announcer ] tums smoothies. oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty.
debate round number two, two days away. president obama goes up against mitt romney in a town hall-style format, and after what went down last time, the pressure for both men is intense. cnn's athena jones has this preview. >> reporter: round two. president obama and governor mitt romney face-off in their second debate tuesday, a town hall mott raid the by cnn's candy crowley who says the
format presents unique challenges for the candidates. >> challenge is they have to connect not just with the people that are looking into the television and watching them, but to the people that are on the stage with them, some 80 or so undecided voters as chosen by gallup. so they have to keep those folks in mind. it's a much more intimate and up close adventure with voters. >> reporter: president obama is under pressure after his last turn on the debate stage got bad reviews. >> one bad debate is losing a battle. two bad debates could very well mean he loses the war. >> i think you're going to see a very different president obama that time around. he's got to be seen as being aggressive, but yet he can't be seen as being overly aggressive. >> reporter: romney has enjoyed a post-debate pounce in national polls and a boost of confidence on the campaign trail. >> there's more energy and passion, people are getting behind this campaign. >> reporter: at a town hall without a podium and with audience interaction, the
candidates' style and body language can take on added weight. at the first town hall-style presidential debate in 1992 president george h.w. bush repeatedly checked his watch, a sign some thought that he didn't want to be there. commentators said bill clinton walking toward the audience to answer a question about the recession highlighted his ability to connect with voters. one thing that can make it hard for a candidate to be aggressive is a question like this. >> can we focus on the issues and not the personalities and the mud? >> reporter: analysts say the format could be good for the president. >> he will absolutely be able to draw from that energy, from the energy of the public and the crowd. >> reporter: as for romney -- >> one of his big challenges during this entire campaign has been not being able to connect with the common man and woman and child. he's got to be able to come across a connecting. he's got to come across as genuine, as caring, as likable.
>> it's a candidate that makes a connection with the person making the question is also i think making a better connection with the folks back home. >> reporter: the stakes couldn't be higher. athena jones, cnn, washington. >> of course, the presidential contenders square off for the second time tuesday night. special coverage, live coverage, begins at 7:00 eastern. next, author goes one-on-one with cnn. brutally honest look at the life that he turned into best selling books. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. author guston burrows turned a painful childhood in fodder for several best sellers. he opens up in tonight's red chair interview. >> i didn't want to actually kill myself, i wanted to end my life, and there's a huge mother [ muted ] difference. you can end your life, everything about it and still be
alive and that'shat i did. i didn't see any possible way that my future could turn out good because even if i got out of this horrible life, i was going to be such a freak. a while back i wrote a book called "running with scissors" and that was about my childhood. my mother was mentally ill and my father was an alcoholic and they couldn't raise me so they gave me away to their psychiatrist. >> you're giving me away to your shrink. >> who lived in a big rambling crazy victorian and he was a nut and i grew up without any supervision, without any adults or rules or bedtime and just went downhill from there. i have a fourth grade education which i think qualifies me to give self-help advice because i have found out that you don't actually need a master's degree in social work to administer to the needs of the depraved or the needy or the clingy. you just need a lot of experience and i have that.
i have no doubt there are people who have read "this is how" and think, this is the worst self-help book every written and this guy is completely crazy, you know? i'm really kind of -- i don't know if there's a word for it, but i'm i suppose a brutalist in how i approach mental health or at least surviving. i don't believe in being a victim under any circumstances, even if you have been victimized. you know, even if you have been victimized. if you have been raped, accept it's happened, it's real, it's done, it's part of you now, so what are you going to do with this new gift that you didn't ask for and that you didn't want but that you have? i mean, it may seem like who am i to talk about how to behave after you have been raped, but i was raped as a kid by a psychiatric patient who was more than twice my age. this is something i know. losing a child is the real ceiling in terms of human suffering.
i don't know that there is anything worse that can happen to a person really. i know from me, from losing, you know, someone who was not a child, even that i had to be reminded to breathe. in the late '90s i lost someone named george, and i had written about it extensively in my book "dry." i called him pig head. he was my partner but we had a very, very difficult relationship partly because i was a tremendous drunk, and he was terminally ill, and i spent years and years and years waiting heal, but the thing you need to understand is that heal is a television word, you know. heal makes the audience clap. people like healing because, yeah, we all get to heal, we go through the tunnel into healing. but it doesn't work that way because sometimes, you know, there are things in life from
which you're never going to heal, and that's something i wish someone had said to me because i spent almost ten years of my life after someone close to me died waiting to heal, and i didn't heal and i realized, oh, that is actually me healed. i'm not going to heal. this is it. i'm like swiss cheese now, i have all these holes, but that's okay actually because you don't need to be healed to be okay. when you have a lot of love in your life, you have loss in your future. tick tock tick tock. and i know that. and i hate it, i hate it, but that is, you know, love is expensive. everything good is. >> more fascinating interviews like this one on our website, cnn.com/video and search for red chair. okay. it is time for smart bras,
mammogram and a bike so cool it's set in a hot tub. >> blends physical activity with hydrotherapy using water jets directed at strategic points along the body. the only question is why didn't anyone think of it before? >> all right. our tech whiz is here with all the details. let's talk about this smart bra because this is important innovation. the first warning system. says it's a clinical trial, the bra had a 90% accuracy in picking up abnormalities. >> it has a built in sensor that measures the cell temperature changes in order to identify a developing tumor. it's not only over 90% accurate, it can also identify the tumor six years before a ma'am rammog.
>> very cool. that's good news for women. >> it's basically a daily mammogram. >> the bike with the hot tub. why? >> well, you get the added benefits of working out in water plus a spinning sposhgout which is blood flow when you work out in water, muscle resistance, and cutting down cellulite for women. 30 minutes on this bike, it's equal to two hours on a regular bike. it sounds fantastic but there's a problem. >> what? >> the price. >> how much is it? >> $18,000. >> oh, well, there you go. she's drinking in the hot tub. that's what i like to do but usually it's an adult beverage -- >> it sounds weird. you're going to have -- >> a fridge that won't open unless you smile at it or laugh. >> joe biden would have a kick out of it. >> she's a comedienne. >> the university of tokyo try to make a refrigerator that
would make employees smile a little bit more in the workplace. that's the reason why they created this. it's called the happiness counter. that's the name of this refrigerator. and it uses smile recognition technology to allow you to open the fridge. >> cool. >> i don't know if it's practical or not, but definitely a cool invention. >> i need one with a lock on it that doesn't open when i'm above an open weight. >> that's a pretty good weight. >> i love your personality. can you come back more often? >> don't travel to costa rica so i can see you more often. >> i'll see you dad next time. arlen specter leaves a heck of a legacy after decades in congress but you have probably never seen him like this. >> i have been in the senate for 30 years practicing comedy. >> the funny side of the senator straight ahead. ♪ [ male announcer ] its lightweight construction makes it nimble... ♪
♪ october 27th, 2007 was a beautiful autumn day. mariah was with her two friends. i didn't know the last time i kissed her would have been my last time. later that night, they were walking down this path when an underage drunk driver swerved off the road and hit them. mariah landed here. she died that night. they were only a block away from my house. mariah was only 14 and i'm thinking, how did this happen? it is so preventable. my name is leo mccarthy. i give kids tools to stay away from drinking.
our state has been notoriously top five in drinking and driving fatalities in the country. the drinking culture, it's a cyclical disease that we mariah's challenges, be the first generation of butte kids to not drink. >> in the eulogy i said if you stick with me for four year, don't use alcohol, don't use elicit drugs i'll be there with a bunch of other folks to give you money to go to a post secondary school. >> i promise to give back to my community. >> i think mariah's challenge is something that makes people think a little bit more to say we can be better. mariah is forever 14. i can't get her back but i can help other parents keep their kids safe. if we save one child, we save a generation.
>> he was known for his sharp legal mind and nonapologetic attitude. but few people know arlen specter was aim forego a stand-up comedy career after he left politics. he decided aftied after a long h cancer. >> he was a senator for 30 years. a round of applause for senator arlen specter, everybody. >> this is not the arlen specter america came to know. >> i've been in the senate for 30 years, practicing comedy. [ laughter ] >> reporter: it was the man arlen specter was becoming. >> let's go in your office. >> okay. >> reporter: this is a comedy session where we'll develop some material here. after losing his treasured seat in the senate arlen specter at the age of 80 was aiming to become a stand-up comic. >> so now you're embarking on
this stand-up comedy career. earlier this year specter and i spent time together as he prepared for his next performance. >> arlen specter's funny? what do you say to those people? >> i say, there's something funny in almost everything. >> reporter: specter does see something funny in everything. >> good morning. >> i know. >> reporter: in fact our dr. sanjay gupta got a taste of it four years ago when specter was battling cancer for the second time. >> probably going to lose -- more of your hair. >> i'm going to lose all of my hair. i'm going to be bald as a billiard ball. >> looking good. >> reporter: he liked to quote churchill to describe his approach to life, never give in. >> how are you feeling, senator? >> not so hot. >> what's bothering you? s>> overhead headache. i was up at 4:00, couldn't sleep and got my squash partners out at 5:30. we had a little squash.
>> reporter: anyone who can play squash during a chemo headache cannot be dismissed when he says he wants to do stand-up. >> we're going to go over some of the material that you're planning to use on monday night at caroline's, correct? >> these are possibilities. these are candidates. when i was recuperating from hodgkin's, the doctors told me to spend some time in a hot tub. so i was in this hot tub luxuriating. in comes ted kennedy. 283 pounds. in his finest. his birthday suit. and like a walrus, he plops into the hot tub and you know the old story about rising tide lifts all boats. my head hit the ceiling. newt gingrich, i've known newt a long time. in fact, i've known newt so
long, i knew him when he was skinny. i've known newt so long, i knew his first wife. strom thurman said, i have sex almost every night. we almost have sex on monday. we almost have sex on tuesday. i don't know if this is fit for cnn. it reminds me of a comment pat moynihan made about malcolm -- >> malcolm wall a krchlwallach. in the future when i say remind me, it means i don't have a clue. >> i thought you knew everything and made that comment to inform the audience as to who malcolm was. joe bideson a good talker for humor because he talks so much. there's a picture of joe biden and me over here. you know how much it costs to buy a seat in the united states
senate? $30 million. so when you pay $30 million for a seat, you like to sit in it. >> specter, the former prosecutor, studied his comedy performances with a critical eye taking careful notes on which punch lines worked and which fell flat. >> clearly tuned in to the audience because you were pausing. >> there's a cadence to it. and the audience gets into the cadence. when you pause, they laugh -- if you pause they laugh again. sometimes they laugh automatically. >> reporter: in the end between his long senate career and his short but determined effort at stand-up comedy, and his multiple battles with life-threatening illness, arlen specter demonstrated a few things about power, the power of sitting down, the power of standing up and the power of never giving in. michael shoulder, cnn.